Medically reviewed on 17-August-2023
Long-sightedness is a very common visual error, and here at Optegra we’re often asked what can be done to treat it. Whilst many people rely on glasses or contact lenses to improve their close vision, laser eye surgery could be a more effective solution in the long run. Find out more about long sightedness, and how laser eye surgery can correct it, with our guidance below.
What is long-sightedness?
‘Long-sightedness’ is the commonly used term for a condition called hyperopia. People with long-sightedness tend to struggle with focusing on objects which are close by, although some people have problems with distance vision at the same time.
Long-sightedness occurs when light rays reach the retina in the eye before they have been able to converge into a focused image, usually due to the eyeball being too short or the cornea being less curved than it needs to be.
How does long-sightedness affect your vision?
For individuals with long-sightedness, objects close to the eye tend to appear blurry, whilst those far away are usually clearer.
This means that people with long-sightedness often have problems:
- Working with computer screens
- Performing tasks with small objects up close, such as using a mobile phone
Someone with long-sightedness may also experience headaches, discomfort or squinting, particularly when trying to focus on nearby objects.
When does long-sightedness develop?
Long-sightedness often affects adults over 40, but it can also affect younger eyes. Symptoms can often develop from a person’s teenage years up to their early forties, and it’s also possible for hyperopia to develop in children under five. A key sign to look out for is if an individual is squinting when trying to focus on closer objects. If in doubt, book an eye test with your optician.
What causes long-sightedness?
Long-sightedness occurs when the eye can’t focus light properly on the retina. Possible reasons for this could be:
- The eyeball is too short
- The cornea is flatter than it needs to be
- The lens is unable to focus light properly
As the eye develops between birth and the age of eight, it can sometimes come up a little short. This developmental shortfall is caused by genetic factors, and the severity of it simply depends on the genetic hand that you have been dealt. Environmental factors have little or nothing to do with the condition.
After this period of early development is over, the eye gradually loses focusing power as it ages. That’s why hyperopia is often prominent in patients over the age of 40.
Treatment for long-sightedness
Now we’ve explained exactly what long-sightedness is and what causes it, we can look at how best to treat it. The good news is that there are several options available for correcting long-sightedness.
Glasses or contact lenses
Many people with long-sightedness rely on glasses or contact lenses to help their eyes focus, but these options come with some drawbacks.
Firstly, glasses and lenses are expensive, especially when you consider that they need to be changed to keep up with your prescription, usually every few years. If you develop hyperopia when you’re young, that’s an awful lot of glasses and lenses over the course of your lifetime.
Glasses can get broken, they go out of fashion, they can be left or lost, and they don’t suit everyone. Plus, they are not suitable for some activities, such as sports. Meanwhile, contact lenses have their own set of problems, including discomfort and even risks of infection.
Laser eye surgery
Another option is to have laser eye surgery for ling-sightedness, and this can be a great option for people who are tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses.
At Optegra, our laser eye surgery options for long-sightedness include LASIK and LASEK treatments. Our ophthalmic surgeons will carry out a detailed assessment to see whether you are suitable for laser eye surgery and will recommend the best treatment for your needs.
Laser eye surgery corrects long-sightedness by using a precision laser to adjust the cornea, enabling it to focus light rays correctly. This can permanently improve your vision, and could reduce or even eradicate your reliance on glasses or contact lenses.
Lens replacement surgery
Another treatment option is refractive lens exchange, known here at Optegra as Clarivu. This pioneering treatment involves replacing the eye’s natural lens with a specially selected intraocular lens (IOL). The treatment can be used to treat a range of visual errors, including long-sightedness, as well as treating cataracts.
If you’re considering lens replacement, cataract surgery, or laser eye surgery for long-sightedness, why not book a free consultation to find out more about the options available and meet our team of expert surgeons. We look forward to meeting you!
By Author: Alex J Shortt
Mr Shortt is a leading ophthalmic surgeon and an expert in the fields of cornea, cataract and refractive surgery.
Medically Reviewed Date: 17th August 2023